The dental clinic within the distinctive medical polyclinic and it's angular lines, is getting very busy now. We are seeing trauma cases as Olympic training sessions intensify but when one looks in the mouths of many people, especially from poorer countries, one can observe a number of pre-existing problems already there in the background, from perio-disease to erosion and strange wear patterns, to even stranger crown and bridgework designs - then you get that 'heart-sink' moment when you use the perio-probe horizontally and it just disappears with little resistance under an abutment!
So treatment planning is interesting because maximum timescales are say 3 weeks, they may come back and see a different dentist, we are tending to treat worst symptoms first, explain existing problems, do what we can whilst here and try and fit this in between training/competing timetables and other things they have like receiving dignatories from their own countries, IoC etc. More than 50% of the time this may be consented and planned through interpreters too, which just adds to the challenges as many aspects do not lend themselves to standard language translation - I am getting very good at charades and drawing pictures to fill in these gaps, but I also have to consider to what enviroments are these people returning to, will there be advanced dental care or even any dental care available that they can realistically access when they return home?
All of these things are playing a factor and pushing my professional skills to their limits on occasions, but in a strange way I also feel a great responsibility to do what I can for these individuals who have few realistic options otherwise, so I am trying to get them booked in with me again on my shifts and between their commitments to see them through to at least a more stable healthy phase, if not always an 'ideal' outcome in the short time I have to help them.
However this brings other problems as I'm getting quite quickly booked up ahead and the busiest times for the clinic have hardly begun!
It's a familiar cry from many dental professionals I suspect, so little time yet so much to do!
Surely your job is just to get competitors out of pain or patch them up to get them through the next few weeks. I wouldn't have thought treatment planning is really what is expected or your role?